What does your spiritual maturity taste like on a scale of sweet to sour? “Immature fruit is sour”; a simple fact that has an impactful application. I was at Bible study last night and we were discussing the Parable of the Sower when my pastor mentioned the taste difference between immature and mature fruit. I had never thought about it that way before, but he was onto something…
Jesus explains four different types of seeds that were sown, each corresponding to a different conversion:
- The first seed, “fell along the path and the birds came and devoured it” (Mark 4:4, ESV).
- The second seed, “fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.” (Mark 4:5-6).
- The third seed, “fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain” (Mark 4:7).
- Finally, “other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold” (Mark 4:8).
As Christians, we are called to “bear fruit with patience” like the seeds that fell on good soil because maturity (and sanctification) is a process (Luke 8:15). The seed that grew up immediately died soon after because it took no time to root itself in deep soil. How often do we harvest our fruit too soon, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of others? A garden of ripe fruit is not grown overnight. The expression “fruits of my labor” is a perfect example of having to work for your reward before you can enjoy it.
The seed that fell on good soil produced grain anywhere from thirty to a hundredfold (Mark 4:8). God is looking for an increase. Period. Growth takes time, so don’t compare your fruit to everyone else’s harvest! I will be the first to admit that I have a terrible habit of comparing myself to others and highlighting everywhere I believe I am falling short. But guess what? As a Christian, you are perfect in God’s eyes as long as you are moving forward in your walk living revelation to revelation (Hebrews 10:14). I am so thankful that God does not have a daily quota that I need to reach because I know I would fall shamefully short. He has given each person a different gift, ability, and talent to use for His glory returning to Him in different quantities respectively. Bloom where you are planted!
Plant your roots deep, be patient in the process, and give your spiritual fruits time to ripen.